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Abel toX) in the Bible.— By K. J. Lav, Ph.D., Columbia 
University, New York City. 

Siegfried and Stade (Hebrdisches Handworterbuch, p. 5 a ) 
translate this word 'grassy plain, pasturage (Aue, Trift) ;' 
others have suggested that it should be read J3N . 

It neither means 'grassy plain,' nor must it be changed to 
?3K for the following reasons : 

1. On such an *?5X *he Israelites had placed the ' Ark of Jahve ' 

( 1 Sam. 6, 18 : ",T {1"^-;-^ fT^ 117^.1 1B^ rftfljl ^K)- 
If this *?5^ ^ a< ^ been a 'grassy plain,' the text would read 
rD in^n TtMt. instead of JTty HrVSTl "KP'Ki it must 

t - ■ v - : T v *t • • v - : 

therefore have been an object higher than the ground itself. 
According to verses 14 and 15 it was an iVTilj) 73X , ' a 
large stone,' which still stood in the field of Jehoshua 
(v. 18, last clause) in the time of the writer of the book of 

2. Other passages in which "?3N occurs seem to prove that these 

stones were placed in certain localities 

a) to commemorate well-known events of the past: 

a) the DHVO 1 ??^. 'the ^tf of the Egyptians,' 
where the Israelites (called here Egyptians) 
mourned for Joseph; cf. Gen. 50, 11. 

/?) the iYTinO'^N. 'the ^X of the dance,' which 
had been placed in memory of a certain ' great 
rejoicing' of the people; Judges 7, 22; 1 Kings 
14, 12; 19, 16. 

y) the n^On'3 ^N. 'the ^J* at Beth Maa- 

chah;' 1 Kings 15, 20; 2 Kings 15, 29; 2 Sam. 
20, 14, 15. 

b) to mark possession ; with a signification similar to that 
of the Assyrian kudurru, 'boundary-stone.' 

a) Q*12 ""ON, Hhe ^tf of (at) 'the water (s) ;' 2 
Chron. 16, 14. 

303 R. J. Zau, Abel (*?3>?) in the Bible. 

P) D^t^rr^SN. 'the *?3N of (at) the locust-trees;' 

Nu. 33, 49. 
y) D'P?3 ^N • ' the ^K of (at) the vine-yards ;' 
Judg. 11, 33. 
This ^JN stone' was not merely a boundary stone, but one 
that marked 'possession.' The fact that the word occurs only 
in the singular goes far to prove, that 

1, only one stone was placed on the land, at the waters, in the 

grove of locust-trees, or in the vineyards, mentioned above ; 

%. that most likely it was larger than a common boundary-stone, 

but lower than the cart on which the ' ark ' was moved. 
3. A further proof for this assertion can be adduced from 
the Assyrian ablu, iblu: 

a) Nebuchadnezzar styles himself (VR. 55, 5) : ndsir 
kudurrSti, tnukinu able*, ' protector of the boundary- 
stones, and establisher of the able* (stones).' Accord- 
ing to this passage the kudurru was different from 
the ablu. 

b) Nabopalassar says (OBI. I, col. II, 28-31 : ama I>IM. 

GAL. JS istattum (=istenis) ibU uhinnu 1, 'the mas- 
ter-builders determined the ible.'' Here ible must 
mean not merely the boundaries, but rather the extent 
of the boundaries in either direction, that is they 
determined where the iblS-stones should be placed, 
which marked the extent of the boundaries. 
According to these two passages the Assyrians made use of 
more than one ablu or iblu, which were not the same as the 
kudurrS, for the words occur only in the plural. The Hebrew 
'j'ZliS occurs only in the singular, and was placed 1) to commem- 
orate a certain event; or 2) to signify possession.